Disney Research project turns static photos into 3D worlds

A Disney Research Zurich project developed an algorithm for creating 3D models from static photographs, which could prove useful in recreating real-world objects in video games.

The algorithm analyzes photographs, determines depth information from the light information in them and reconstructs the scene in a virtual environment, as described in a paper (PDF link) called "Scene Reconstruction from High Spatio-Angular Resolution Light Fields." By using multiple photographs, the method can "easily capture the scene from different viewing positions" to fill in the obstructed areas you'd find in a single photo, as demonstrated in the video above.

Disney Research's technology could streamline the modeling processes in several industries, its creators say. The paper contrasts it with the present method of laser scanning, a comparatively inaccurate process that involves a lot of modeler cleanup. The technology was also designed to be used on a "standard graphics processing unit (GPU)."

"Densely sampled light fields ... allow us to capture the real world in unparalleled detail"

"Scene reconstruction in the form of depth maps, 3D point clouds or meshes has become increasingly important for digitizing, visualizing, and archiving the real world, in the movie and game industry as well as in architecture, archaeology, arts, and many other areas," the paper reads.

Disney Research was founded in 2008 as "an informal network of research labs" at the Walt Disney Company and partners with universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

The technology for using photographs to recreate objects in the digital world is already making its way to the consumer market. Last month, for example, developer Dekko launched DekkoScan, an iOS app that allows users to photograph real-world objects and import them in to Minecraft.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker